Updated: Apr 2
From Gulf Shores, AL to Apalachicola, FL there are 232 miles of stunning beaches that are easily accessible from most mid-west, mid-atlantic, and southern states. Beautiful beach towns like Perdido Key, Navarre Beach, Grayton Beach, Mexico Beach, and Port St. Joe; as well as bigger cities like Pensacola, Destin, and Panama City beckon cold weary travelers at Spring Break. There is something for everyone on this gorgeous stretch of the Gulf of Mexico Coast. There are five major reasons to jump in the car and head south, it's less crowded than the summer season, the weather is pleasant with highs in the 70's, the accommodation prices are lower, it is generally family oriented, there is lots to do besides the beach.
It's Generally Not Crowded
Summer is the peak season along the Gulf Coast. The calm seas, wide variety of activities and gorgeous beaches attract families from all over. From the first of June until mid August, the areas of the Gulf Coast become crowded. Fourth of July weekend is the busiest weekend of the year. Aside from Panama City, Spring Break weeks are not nearly as crowded. It is a great time to enjoy long walks on the beach collecting seashells or building giant sand castles.
The Weather Can Be a Bit Chilly
The day time temperatures are usually in the mid 60's to mid 70's in March and April. When you are packing make sure you include a jacket or sweater and a couple of long sleeve shirts. I am loving this Lilly Pulitzer 1/2 Zip and this v-neck, lightweight, cashmere sweater in a bright spring color block. If you are bringing kids, this long sleeve rash guard will keep them warm and protect them from the sun.
If your family are water lovers like mine is, consider staying somewhere that has a heated pool or an indoor pool. There are lots of places along the Gulf Coast that offer that amenity.
Accommodation Prices are Lower
Lodging costs are significantly lower in the months of March and April as compared to June, July and August. I did a quick check on pricing and found many places were as much 50% lower in March and April than the pricing in June. There are a lot of places to choose from, whether you prefer a hotel, condo rental or house rental.
It's Generally Family Oriented
Along the Gulf Coast, Panama City is the destination that attracts the most college age spring breakers. That being it said, it is nothing like the big party destinations like Cancun Mexico. The rest of the Gulf Coast has a greater focus on family fun, with restaurants offering kids menus. Putt-putt golf and go-carts are the preferred evening entertainment. Of course, there are some great beach bars that offer live entertainment for the adults in your group. Things like afternoon tequila volleyball and shot-skis are more the exception than the norm.
There is a lot to See and Do Besides the Beach
State and National Parks dot the Gulf Coast, offering lots of entertainment for the nature lovers, including back bay kayaking, hiking, and bird watching. The cooler temperatures and flat landscape make this area one of my favorite places to cycle in the Spring. History lovers will enjoy Ft. Pickens State Park, where Geronimo was once held and the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola. There are several large outlet malls for the bargain shoppers. Boat rentals, off shore fishing charters, and dolphin watching trips are a fun way to explore the area by sea.
Have you been to the Gulf Coast? What are your favorite things to do there? Leave your suggestions in the comment section. Are you ready to book your Spring Trip to the Gulf Coast? Check out Booking.com for low rates on hotels.